PICTURE ONLY GALLERY LINKS
The The Forks ~ there's no place like home gallery is here
The ART ~ conveys / transports / reflects gallery is here
The Decay & Disgust work/book is here
Entries from September 1, 2012 - September 30, 2012
On yesterday's entry, ku # 1185, Mary Dennis wrote (in part):
...A perfect example, in my opinion, of an effective way to document the beauty of the changing season. It hits me in the gut but doesn't knock me in the head and render me senseless with blazing, over-the-top saturation...
My response: Mary, thanks for the comment and, somewhat needless to write, I agree with your opinion. In that spirit, while I was out and about yesterday afternoon, I pictured a few more bite-sized, saturation content wise, Autumn pictures.
While playing a round of golf - part of the wife's conference program - during my visit to the Catskills, one of my playing partners (a female lawyer) asked what I do. I mentioned I did this, that, and the other thing, with the other thing being Art / Picture Making.
Her immediate response was to state that she too is an artist who works in oils. She then inquired as to what kind of pictures I make. I tried to explain as best I could and asked her if she would like to view my portfolios (the photo print books), which I just happened to have with me on the trip. Answering in the affirmative, we made plans to get together later in the day and, upon viewing the portfolio books, she was very impressed with the work and especially so with the quality of the books.
I don't mention this as a self-aggrandizing bit of self promotion but rather to once again encourage those of you who are serious about your picture making to make one of these books. The printed quality of these books, as long as you have your picture processing act together, is nothing short of outstanding. And, in my experience, the reaction to viewing them - characteristics of the pictured referents aside - is also nothing short of being very impressed.
FYI, when I write, if you "are serious about your picture making", what I mean to imply is, if you're not sharing your pictures with others in some form of print, you are less than serious about your picture making, or, at the very least, having only half the fun.
IMO, one of the best ways to grow as a picture maker* is by displaying to others prints of your pictures. In doing so, you are required to: a) look at and edit your work in a very critical manner, and, b) be driven to make the best possible prints, which, in the digital picture making era, is all about image file processing.
IMO, letting it all hang out, picture making / print making wise, is a great incentive to improve and grow in your picturing endeavors. Although, I suspect for many, that idea seems both daunting and intimidating.
However, my advise is to suck it up and just do it. The more you do it, the better you will get.
*in addition to learning about the history of the medium and its practitioners, looking at lots of pictures made by others (that is, actual prints in exhibitions, books, and folios), and getting inside your own head.
Even though this store sells old clothing, for some unexplained reason, I'm certain that, if I patronized this store (say ... buying a pair of pants), I would somehow feel much younger (just in case you don't get it, see Juan Ponce de León).
On Friday, once in the Catskills during our drive up to our destination, we came around a sharp 120˚ bend and were suddenly, and somewhat dramatically, confronted by a waterfall which was immediately adjacent to the road. It was, to say the least, impressive. As we were hustling to get to the wife's conference, I made a note to self (and the wife) to revisit the falls on our way out of the park.
So, on Sunday we did just that. We found a place to park the car and proceeded to walk down the road to the falls. As we were viewing the falls from the bridge on the road, I noticed a trail sign on which was written, Kaaterskill Falls .5 miles. Since neither of us are entirely dim-witted, we deduced that there was something more to see, waterfall wise.
We immediately went down to the base of the falls (lower) and found an information board which had a reproduction of a Thomas Cole painting of the upper falls. FYI, Thomas Cole is regarded as the founder of the Hudson River School of painting.
The wife wished to head up the trail - a very steep trail which is very rocky and boulder strewn - but, as much as I wanted to as well, I was rather hesitant inasmuch as my feet were sporting my rich-guy leisure loafers - not footwear suitable to the situation. So, while I was "dicking around" by the lower falls, off she went up the trail, no notice given.
When I realized the wife had departed for higher ground, I sucked it up and headed off after her. Although, with every step I took, I couldn't help imagining what my fractured shin bone would look like as it protruded from my pant leg and the rescue operation it would take to get me back down the trail. In any event and with a bit of luck, I made to the top without incident.
The climb was a true risk/reward venture. Upon avoiding the risk, I was rewarded with a view of the falls which is a rather impressive 2-stage 291 foot drop. In the picture of the upper falls notice for scale the 2 figures on the ledge at the top of the lower portion of the falls.
When all was said and done, I was happy it all worked out.
During our weekend in the Catskills, the wife and I saw a lot of stuff, but what we saw the most of was Rip Van Winkle in various guises. Those sighting were attributable to the fact that there 54 such Rips scattered about the northern Catskills - all part of the 3rd annual RIP LIVES! 2012 GALA & AUCTION.
For those of you not familiar with Rip Van Winkle, Rip is the amiable, somewhat hermetic, and most definitely work shirking character in Washington Irving's story of the same name. Long story short, Rip, while attempting to avoid his wife's nagging, wanders into the mountains (the Catskill Mountains) and discovers the source of thunder - a group of bearded men (the ghosts of Henry Hudson's - as in, Hudson River - crew) playing nine-pins. Rip starts drinking their liquor and falls fast asleep.
As it turns out, he sleeps for quite a few years, from roughly before the start of the Revolutionary War until after the war is over. When Rip returns home, high jinks and confusion are the order of the day.
In any event, during my trip in the mountains, my wife, unlike Rip's wife, didn't nag me one bit while I was driving around spotting Rip's and repeatedly stopping to make pictures, or, as she calls it, "dicking around".
The Catskill Mountains are often referred to as the "little Adirondacks" inasmuch as, like the Adirondacks, it is a state forest with some protected land, a bit of protected wilderness, some mountains / streams/ rivers / lakes, with a sprinkling of small villages / hamlets thrown in for good measure. Unlike the Adirondacks, it a good bit smaller in all of the aforementioned attributes and, in large part, more developed. It should come as no surprise, development wise, since its proximity to NYC has made the Catskills a kind of playground for the big city dwellers.
All told, the Catskills are nice enough, but they ain't no Adirondacks.
In any event, fall color is much in event - measuring 35-50% of peak color (dependent upon elevation) - so I expect to see a fair number of leaf peepers out and about, engaged in their annual orgasmic / feverish fall color picturing mode. Naturally, I do my best to avoid falling into that picture making trap.
I imagine most in the room know that the Greek words, φῶς γραφή (pronounced phos graphê), are the Greek root words for our word, photography - φῶς = "light, γραφή = drawing / writing (FYI, I studied Latin (4 years) and Ancient Greek (3 years) in high school). That is why, on occasion, photography is described as "drawing / writing with light".
Light is indeed that which we light writers (aka: photographers) know is indispensable to the making of our art/Art and we all know that trying to picture a black cat in a coal bin is difficult. However, without light, that task is absolutely impossible. Or, to state it another way, light sensitive material + no light = nothing, picture wise.
That written, some picture makers think making pictures is "all about the light". If it weren't for the fact the most picture makers who subscribe to that theory have turned golden / dramatic light into a picturing fetish, I would agree that, at times, a picture can be "about the light". However, for me, light is most often a facilitator in the making of a picture but not at all what the picture is about.
In any case, when I make pictures that are ostensibly "about the light" (although never wholly so) and the making of which are instigated by the qualities / characteristics of "the light", those pictures are invariably responses to a wide range of light quality / characteristics, not just a Pavlovian response to one particular kind of light.
It would be very safe to say that I am not a one-trick pony, or, as the wife's mother said, a "Johnny one note" when it comes to making pictures "about the light".